Growing Generosity – The Fundamentals

As we start 2012, I thought it might be good to review the fundamentals of growing generosity. My position allows me to see a lot of situations and I am amazed at the number of church and ministry leaders who do not fully understand even the basics. So, let’s review that here.

What are the basics? It starts with two things:

  • a compelling story
  • an engaged audience.

It’s really that simple – a story and someone to listen. Yes, there are other factors, but it starts with these two. If you don’t have these right, nothing else matters.

The compelling story is the factor that grabs the hearts of those who might be willing to be generous to that church or ministry cause. I see lots of churches that have well designed web sites and communications but the story content is lacking. Too many of the web sites I see look like overgrown electronic bulletin boards. I know churches have to promote activities and events, but not to the exclusion of telling stories of how the church has impacted hurting, hopeless, helpless people. I’m not trying to be derogatory. I just want churches and ministry organizations to see how they are perceived when potentially interested givers try to access information about them and find nothing to grab their hearts.

Here are a couple of churches that have done a good job in balancing the need to provide information about events and activities and also present compelling stories.

Having an engaged audience is just as important. If you have a compelling story, but no one to listen, that doesn’t work, does it? I constantly hear church ministry leaders lament that their people are not as engaged as they could be. Too many times, we want to lay the fault for that at the feet of the people. Busy schedules and increased mobility among church people might be part of the issue. However, churches and ministry organization need to look in the mirror, too. Have you presented the story of your ministry in a compelling enough way to cause your people to want to be engaged inn serving, leading and giving? The stories are there, but have you told them publicly?

Give your church or ministry a quick check up as you start 2012. Are you telling your story well and engaging your people? If you haven’t, I’d recommend you make this one of your top priorities for 2012. In particular, look at your web site and regular communications media. Is there some aspect that would grab the hearts of your people? If not, work on that.

Tell the stories of how your church or ministry organization has impacted the lives of people within your sphere of influence. Your people will be more engaged than ever — and probably more generous, too.

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